Faribault County Oks use of funds
BLUE EARTH– Kaley Hernandez and Stephanie Schmitz, representing the Stronger Together Coalition, attended the Faribault County Board meeting on Tuesday to provide the commissioners with an update on the opioid settlement and inform them what needs to be done next as part of the terms of the settlement agreement.
Hernandez, who is a coordinator with the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership which serves Faribault and Martin counties, explained the next steps the county needs to take.
“The coalition recommends the County Board approve the proposal to complete an assessment for which to make decisions on how to best utilize the opioid settlement funds over the next 18 years, which is how long the payout will last,” Hernandez said. “If you recall, this payment was the result of a class action lawsuit. The county will receive a higher amount of funding the first year.”
Hernandez told the board that Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties (HSFMC) will oversee the assessment process as the Chief Health Strategist.
“What we are asking for is funding, in the amount of $9,500, be transferred to HSFMC to fund the assessment process,” she said. “This amount should come out of money the county has already banked from the settlement.”
Schmitz continued by telling the board more about the assessment.
“It is done not only to understand the existing impacts from opioid use,” Schmitz commented. “It is also used to determine prevention and treatment strategies that would be most effective for our communities from a list of over 120 options.”
The board voted to release the money to fund the study.
The board also:
— Approved the request of county assessor Gertrude Paschke to attend the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers Annual Conference.
— Voted to grant the request of Emily Bonin of the Faribault County Sheriff’s Department to attend the Minnesota Fraud Investigator Association Fall Training.